Photos by Lily Piel
What do you get when you put 600 Slow Money folks in a tent and throw in Bill McKibben, Joel Salatin, Michelle Long, Robert Zevin, Erika Allen, Gary Hirshberg, Elliot Coleman and too many wonderful entrepreneurs and investors to mention? You get inspired. And we did. Get inspired. By the presenting entrepreneurs. By the speakers. By one another. Since our gathering in Vermont, we’ve been swamped with feedback of the “beyond inspired” and even “the event of a lifetime” kind. To all of you who attended, a heartfelt thanks. To all of you who couldn’t make it, we are sharing some of the proceedings here. Giving new meaning to the words, “We need slow money fast.”
Founder and Chairman
Slow Money Alliance
The Slow Money gathering opened my eyes to the many worthwhile start-up companies that need funds to grow. As a result of the event, I plan to invest in one or two.
Cross Island Farms, Wellesley Island, NY
One of the most informative and motivating events I’ve ever attended – and I’ve attended quite a few.
Slow Money might just save America from devouring itself – it gives me hope that someone is finally tackling the thing that separates us the most.
Dandelion Communitea Café, Orlando, FL
How exciting to witness Slow Money maturing to a new level of potential, and attracting participants from such a broad range of ages, economic circumstances and perspectives. Slow Money speaks to the deep hunger in this country for connection and meaning, for attention to improving quality of life, and the joy of tasty, healthy real food for all.
Nancy Deren, Trustee
Lydia B. Stokes Foundation, Gainesville, FL
Slow Money is one of the movements that can transform our society, our world. It is one of the most powerful and optimistic approaches to help create a planet that is fair, sustainable… and satisfying.
Cambridge Naturals, Cambridge, MA
It was more practical than pie-in-the-sky, more stimulating and provocative than several professional conferences I attended this year, and well worth the time and effort and money to attend!
I’ve attended countless conferences and seminars over the years, but it was not until I was under the Slow Money tent at Shelburne Farms that I found a community of individuals with whom I can connect and actually get something done! The quality of the attendees and their breadth of experience was remarkable, as was the obvious shared commitment to the vision of Slow Money. I cannot tell you how valuable the connections I made were. I’m doing due diligence on a possible investment and have already met with another of the attendees to explore collaboration on investing in farmland near where I live. I do trust in the soil. And I trust that the future for and with Slow Money is going to be remarkable.
Leslie Barclay, Owner
Round The Bend Farm, South Dartmouth, MA
What a pleasure to be part of a gathering that wasn’t just talking about the future but bending it! Slow Money is one of the keys to a healthy future.
Bill McKibben, Founder
350.org, Middlebury, VT
A wonderful, inspiring gathering. I must admit that I attended to see if it was real. It is. And then some. The event went way beyond any expectations. Thank you for taking the lead on this vital work.
Mary Carol Rose
The Slow Money gathering was a powerful meeting place for individual investors, investment professionals, philanthropists and entrepreneurs. The appetite for investing in small food enterprises is growing and will create important new opportunities for values-driven individuals to put money to work directly in their communities. I look forward to participating in these efforts.
Matt Patsky, CEO
Trillium Asset Management, Boston, MA
The sheer creative and passionate energy amassed in one place at one time testifies to the breadth and depth of this movement. Tired of cute fluffy green-around-the-edges nickle-and dime activities, Slow Money takes modern and unnatural Wall Streetification by the throat, questioning and giving alternatives to the very essence of hubris economics.
Joel Salatin, Owner
Polyface Farm, Swoope, VA
Inspired by the first Slow Money national gathering in Santa Fe, my husband & I came home and started a Slow Money conversation in Penns Valley, in Centre County, PA. The second conference at Shelburne Farms powerfully reinforced our conviction that we’re on the right track and increased our sense of urgency and commitment.
Smart Work, LLC, Spring Mills, PA
What’s so important about the Slow Money gathering for me is that it identifies and initiates starting points for everyone who eats and has a bank account. Slow Money moves beyond our choices as consumers to our choices as investors, building the network of people who see local food systems as a key part of solutions for the biggest challenges of our times: climate change, loss of biological diversity, access to clean and plentiful water and health.
Will Raap, Founder
Gardener’s Supply, Burlington, VT
There was a moment when I looked around the tent at Shelburne Farms to see the wonderful old codgers who have been farming in Vermont for generations, sitting with young environmentalists and food entrepreneurs and New York investment types, all nodding in agreement with Bill McKibben, who said, ‘’The only way to heal our increasingly broken world and communities is to come back together – to play together, think together, plan and act together.’’ Wow. Talk about being the change we seek. It was a profoundly hopeful moment.
Brian Byrnes, President and CEO
The Santa Fe Community Foundation, Santa Fe, NM
The Slow Money national gathering was an extraordinary event. There was brilliance about it, a brilliance of connectivity and collaboration and shared commitment to this powerful economic and cultural vision. We are on the verge of a breakthrough. Slow Money is not only planting inspiring seeds, but also creating the conditions and the relationships for fundamental change and lasting impact. I was, and am, therefore, extraordinarily pleased to have been able to make the first contribution, right there on the spot in that tent that was brimming with so many wonderful and talented folks, to the Soil Trust. In Soil We Trust.
Thanks for bringing together such a diverse and dynamic group of citizens around this new economic Vision. I left inspired, empowered and ready to lend myself to the gathering momentum of this movement.
Jim Baird, Owner
Cloudview Eco Farms, Royal City, WA
The event of a lifetime! – Amazing energy. I am still buzzing from it.
Jerry Cunningham, CEO
Coyote Creek Farm, Elgin, TX